Monday, December 3, 2012

Winners of the Ask Amy Green Young Editor Competition

I am delighted to announce the winners of the 2012 Ask Amy Green Young Editors Competition.

The winners are:

Iseult from Galway
Sophie from Tipperary
Ellen from Waterford
and Niamh from England

Well done to all of you! And thank you to everyone who entered. There was such a high standard this year that I decided to have 4 Young Editors instead of 2.

They will help me edit Wedding Belles in 2013.

Sarah XXX

What It Takes To Be A Writer - For Bláthnaid

(Originally posted on the Girls Heart Books Blog)

I got a lovely letter in the post week from a girl called Bláthnaid, age 11. Unfortunately she didn’t give me her address so I couldn’t write back. She asked me a very good question:
What does it take to be a writer?
So here goes. This is for you, Bláthnaid, if you’re reading!

This is what it takes to be a writer:

1/ Imagination
You have to see story ideas in everything – the building site down the road, the old woman who feeds the birds in the park, the librarian with the sad eyes. You need to ask yourself ‘Who are they? Where do they live? Do they have family? What’s their story?’
bird lady
2/ Curiosity and Empathy
You must be fascinated by the world around you and especially by how people tick. You must try to understand how people feel – this is vital. It’s called empathy. And you must use this to create characters so real that they leap off the page. The more you understand and care about your characters, the more your readers will also care.

3/ Courage
Being a writer isn’t easy. You have to explore things that scare or upset you and write about them. You have to use all your experiences - even the unpleasant ones – to inform your work. And don’t be afraid of making your readers cry – strong emotions are good. But make them laugh too!
girl laughing
4/ Tenacity or Sticking Power
If you want your story or book to get published, you may have to wait a long time. You may have to write a lot of stories or books before you get published. But if you stick at it and put passion, enthusiasm and heart into your writing, you’ll get there.

5/ Hope
You have to believe that you WILL get published one day and that readers WILL like your story or book. You have to have faith in your writing and write no matter what, as often as you can.

Hope this helps, Bláthnaid!

Yours in writing,
Sarah XXX